Golden runs into 2nd round of 4A state playoffs

Dennis Pleuss
Jeffco Public Schools
Posted 11/10/22

ARVADA — Golden’s first-year head football coach Matt McDougal received a nice birthday gift from his Demons on Nov. 4.

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Golden runs into 2nd round of 4A state playoffs


ARVADA — Golden’s first-year head football coach Matt McDougal received a nice birthday gift from his Demons on Nov. 4.

No. 12-seeded Golden shutout No. 21 Rampart 28-0 in the first round of the Class 4A state tournament, advancing the Demons into the round of 16 next week.

“It’s good to get a playoff win if it is on my birthday or not,” McDougal said with all smiles on the field at the North Area Athletic Complex. “It feels good.”

The windy and cold conditions didn’t slow down Golden’s offense early. The Demons (8-3 record) marched right down the field on their first possession. Junior running back Luc Chevalier concluded the drive with a 10-yard touchdown run to give Golden an early 7-0 lead.

Senior quarterback Jazel Riley pushed the lead to 14-0 in the second quarter with his 17th rushing touchdown of the season.

“It was tough early,” McDougal said of the northwest wind that howled in the first half. “But we got the run game going.”

Golden defense was in bend but don’t break mode throughout the first half. Rampart junior running back Maciu Ramaqa chewed up yardage on the ground, but the Rams (4-7) were shutout despite having three drives inside Golden territory. Ramaqa finished with 24 carries for 116 yards in the loss.

Rampart’s best scoring chance ended with it turned the ball over on downs around Golden’s 10-yard line. Ramaqa had a fumble recovered by the Demons on another promising drive. The third drive ended with another turnover on downs in the second quarter.

“We just do our best to bring our physicality and use to dominate,” Golden junior linebacker Ridge Shaffer said. “When teams cross that 50 (yard line) we know we have to step up.” 

The second half was more of the same. A 64-yard run by Chevalier helped set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Riley to extend the lead to 21-0 with 8:28 left in the third quarter.

Golden’s defense had another key stop of Rampart’s offense on a fourth-down play inside the Demons’ 20-yard line. The Rams had a fourth drive end on a turnover on downs to all but put the game on ice. Riley threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Brakken McDougal early in the fourth quarter to make the lead 28-0.

“Those plays are important,” Chevalier said of his 64-yard run and catch on the drive where Riley threw his lone touchdown pass of the night. “We practiced that screen pass about 50 times during Wednesday’s practice. As you saw it paid off.”

Golden takes a road trip next week to face No. 5 Montrose on the Western Slope in a second-round 4A playoff game scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11. The Red Hawks (8-2) earned a bye in the opening round thanks to the top-12 seed.

“We’ve done it and the kids kind of know what to expect now,” McDougal said of the three road game across the divide. “We have the opportunity to keep playing and play a really good team in Montrose.” 

The Demons are no strangers to long road trips this season. Golden traveled to Florida for its season opener. The 4A Jeffco League champs already have hit the Western Slope twice with a non-league game against Palisade and another trip to Grand Junction that wrapped up its regular season last week.

“It’s great. As long as we win that bus ride back will be fine,” Shaffer said of heading to Montrose next week. “We’ll be practicing all week to get that done.”

Montrose is on an 8-game winning streak after starting the season 0-2 with losses to 4A’s No. 1 seed Palmer Ridge and No. 7 Fruita Monument. 

Dennis Pleuss is the sports information director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage, go to

Golden, football, sports, high school


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